Roseville, MN — Students of Gretta Jurcak’s sixth period math class exchanged eye-rolls as classmate Andy Struum sniffled his runny nose for nearly an hour.
Struum’s snorting began midway through third period and continued through lunch and into his final class. As the day progressed, so did the severity of the sniffle, beginning as a tickle and evolving into a full blown gusher. By the final minutes of math, Struum was sucking up snot once every ten seconds.
“It was very distracting for both me and the students,” Jurcak said. “How am I supposed to concentrate on my lesson plan when I can see and hear the snot yo-yoing from his face?”
As Struum refused to use a Kleenex or excuse himself for a bathroom break, Jurcak’s students glared and silently cursed at their classmate.
“I thought I was going to throw up,” student Brad Cheile said. “I was sitting right in front of him and could hear him breathing through his mouth and snorting the whole time. One more minute of class and I would have turned around and told him to blow his friggen nose.”
While many students suffer from nose-blowing anxiety, fearing that they will be bullied for getting up during class to use a Kleenex, few hold out as long as Struum. Horton Jahn deals with yearly bouts of ragweed allergies, but has a system to prevent being “that guy.”
“I find a spot in the back of f the room and sniffle as quietly as possible,” Jahn said. “Then, during passing time, I blow my nose in the bathroom with one of those scratchy brown towels. That usually gets me through the first half of class, but sometimes I resort to wiping my nose with my hand or sleeve — anything to prevent actually using a Kleenex.”
Struum used none of Jahn’s tactics, making the already unpopular sixth period class an hour from hell. After the bell, Struum was kept after class and lectured by Jurcak for being so inconsiderate.
“I guess I didn’t even realize I had a runny nose,” Struum said. “I spent all day thinking about my fantasy football lineup just like very other day. Honestly, I thought people were staring at me because they were trying to read my awesome Charlie Brown t-shirt. If they wanted me to blow my nose they could have asked.”